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2004 Artiste Biographies

Main Stages Artistes
Jazz on the Square Artistes
Jazz in the South Artistes
Teatime Jazz Artistes
Official Opening Artistes
Fond D'Or Jazz

Main Stages Artistes

Billy Taylor
A beacon of Jazz learning and knowledge with a groove all his own we bring you Billy Taylor who embodies the art form that is Jazz. Taylor put his stamp on programmes like " The Subject is Jazz" where he was musical Director and worked with Doc Severinson, Langston Hughes, Jimmy Cleveland, Eddie Safranski and many others. The 70's brought Taylor to the David Frost Show where he was once again a Musical Director. The latent energy of Taylor's style is what brings him to St. Lucia Jazz. Billy Taylor graces the stage Thursday May 13that the Gaiety.

James Carter
James Carter will make music on Friday May 14that the Gaiety. Described as a high energy, high powered jazz musician Carter caused a sensation in the 90's with his ability to play any jazz style; from Dixieland to swing to bop, 1950's R&B, free form and funk. Carter shows his skill with his ability to play the range of saxophones including the clarinet, bass clarinet, oboe and bass flute. His first jazz group included Lester Bowie, Amina Claudine Myers, Frank Lacy, Kelvin Bell and Don Moye.

Maynard Ferguson
Jazz legend, internationally renowned big band leader and one of the world's great trumpet players; Maynard Ferguson is now is his fifth decade as a leader. While many other recreate music of bygone eras in jazz, Maynard and company draw upon bebop, straight-ahead jazz, funk, swing classical and contemporary music to create a fresh sound. This three time Grammy nominee can be seen at the Gaiety on Friday 14th May 2004.

Marlena Shaw
Marlena Shaw is a true original and one of the most charismatic and versatile vocalists on the jazz scenes today. Her performances blur the lines separate jazz, soul, blues, rock, pop and R&B. Her mighty stage presence fills any venue where she performs. In 2000 Soul Brother Records UK, released an anthology of her best work including "Wade In the Water", "California Soul", "Yu-Ma", "Go Away Little Boy" and "Look At Me Look At You".

Yellow Jackets
A musical outfit that began its history in the 70's the Yellow Jackets explored every aspect of the jazz spectrum. Their style is a multi-layered tapestry of jazz stylings. Their self released album and live recording "Mint Jam" was nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. They also released their first studio recording "Time Squared" in 2003. The Yellow Jackets perform at Pigeon Sunday May 16th.

"Poetic delivery with musical intent" that's how entertainment reporter describe the funky Philly style of Floetry. Their anthem "Floetic" serves as their first radio track and title track of their debut album. The female duo Ambrosius and Steward began writing together have provided songs for artistes like Michael Jackson, Jill Scott, and Glen Lewis. You can catch Floetry at Pigeon Island Sunday may 16th2004.

His gospel roots ring out in his emotional vocal stylings. With influences of " new jazz, hip hop, R&B and soul Joe has made his mark working with artistes like Toni Braxton, TLC and SWV. His successful debut album and hit single ‘I'm In Luv"on Polygram Records brought him more success with hits like ‘I Wanna Know" and "Stutter". Joe performs at the Pigeon Island Side Lawn on Thursday may 13th2004.

This princess of R&B has worked with Ja Rule, J. Lo, Big Pun and Fat Joe. She has merged her talent with some of the industry's best – writing lyrics and signing hook that turn records into char toppers. The 21 year-old is now taking her career centre stage with her own self titled album. Ashanti's single "Foolish" made her voice a staple on the air waves. With cuts like "Happy", "Baby" and "Rescue" Ashanti delivers on a high level. You can feel Ashanti's vibe at the Pigeon Island Side Lawn, Friday May 14th.

Kenny G
Kenny G has achieved status as the best selling instrumentalist in the World. The Saxophonist has sold an astonishing seventy million records during an illustrious career which spans twenty years. His brand new album "Your Ultimate Kenny G is Here" has been described as the best collection of his music by far. His recent holiday album "Wishes" was taken to RIAA Certified Gold.

Singer, songwriter, producer and entrepreneur, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds is one of the most gifted figures in popular music. He has amassed a career total of over 100 million units in global sales with his work as a solo artiste. He has also created works for Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Mary J Blije, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin and others. In 2000 Epic records released a selection of his greatest hits taken from multi platinum albums such as Tender Love, When Can I See You and others.

St. Lucian born artists/composers Richard Payne and Francis John have tapped into the wellspring of the rich Creole heritage of their Caribbean homeland. For years they had immersed themselves in the diverse worlds of Miles, Marley, Bartok, Jobim, Kassav and Corea. Groups such as the Yellowjackets, Caribbean Jazz Project, Ultramarine, Sixun, and Weather Report nurtured their musical palate even further. In November 2002, after a successful collaboration with artiste Elisha Benoit from Dominica, Richard and Francis proceeded to record some of the best artistes from the English and French Caribbean for their self-titled CD project. The artistes who comprise the group are Keyboardist Richard Payne (St. Lucia), Bassist Francis John (St. Lucia), Guitarist Eric Bonheur (French Guyana), Drummer Dominique Bougrainville (Martinique), Saxophonist Luther Francois (St.Lucia) Percussionist Miki Telephe, (Martinique), and Vocalist Joel Lutbert. (Martinique

Bluemango' has performed at the St. Lucia Jazz Festival (May 2003), "Live at the Yuca" Radio Broadcast in Martinique and the CMAC Jazz Festival in Martinique. The group has also been featured on French Satellite Television RFO and is the recipient of the prestigious National M&C Fine Arts Gold award for recorded music in St. Lucia.

Magic Malik
This thirty two year old African born musician sees music as a language and a way to take on the world. Up until the age of fifteen Malik was surrounded by the world of theare, (his father being Arthur Lerus being a playwright and stage director) and began to learn to immerse himself in music.

Malik really began his musical career when he joined forces with Marc Rovelas, a flute teacher in Point A Pitre, Guadeloupe. From there he became influenced by the works of Bach, Xenakis, Ravel and Stockhausen. Malik's musical journey now leads him to the Marseilles Music Academy in France. A few years later he joined Julien Lourau's Groove Gang and in 1999 they set off on a world tour that culminated in Malik's first solo album.

Emerson Nurse
Jazz Pianist and Composer Emerson Nurse began his career in 1974 playing at Halcyon Days, one of the newest resorts on the island at the time. From that point on Nurse's career blossomed to include poetry and music, folk music and theatre and jazz.

Nurse recently founded the jazz band "Debat" but has worked extensively with St. Lucian jazz pioneers such as Ronald "Boo" Hinkson and Luther Francois. The pianist/composer has graced the stages of such jazz clubs as "Lickety Split" in Harlem, The Village Vanguard with Arnie Lawrence and has played at jazz festivals across the Caribbean including St. Kitts, Martinique, Grenada, Jamaica, Antigua and others. He has performed alongside such names as Bobby Watson, Andy Narrel and Rufus Reid.

Nurse is about to release his latest album "Into the Sunlight" this summer

Ronald "Boo" Hinkson
Born in St. Lucia, his name is synonymous with St. Lucian music. Boo's mother, who also played the guitar, was his first teacher. A gifted composer, producer, and heralded guitarist, Boo's unique approach and versatility enable him to deliver a distinctive resonance.

Boo's talent transcends cultures and sounds, bringing a fresh and innovative blend of Jazz and Caribbean music.

He has performed on numerous occasions with the legendary Stanley Jordan who describes Boo "as a genuinely gifted and accomplished musician." The talented George Benson praises Boo's technical prowess and improvisation. Frequently compared to Kenny Burrel for not only his natural touch on the guitar but also his polished image. Boo plays the guitar with fire, soul and astuteness.

His latest CD, "Beyond" is a rich emotive and warm collection of contemporary and straight ahead tunes intertwined with Caribbean flair. His talent and presence are revealed in each track and bring about a renaissance to romance. His guitar styling and passion for music are evident and highlight his versatility as a musician.

Jazz on the Square Artistes

Barbara Ann Cadet
St. Lucian Musician/Composer/Arranger Barbara Ann Cadet is a poet whose pen is her saxophone and speaks her innate understanding of the human psyche through her music. Barbara has passed on that understanding to many a student at the St. Lucia School of Music where she once taught. She has lectured on Caribbean music at the University of Miami at the invitation of Dr. Paul Austerlitz.

Cadet has performed at jazz events around the Caribbean including St. Lucia Jazz, The Martinique Jazz Festival, the Trinidad and Tobago Pan Jazz Festival, Aruba Jazz and many others. Cadet has opened for acclaimed artistes such as Wynton Marsalis, Tanya Maria, Spyro Gyra, and patti La Belle. She recently produced two sound tracks for the theatre productions "Iayanola and Esperance". At present Barbara is working on musical scores and the recording of pieces written by composer Charles Cadet for the plays of Hon. Derek Walcott and his brother Roddy Walcott. In 2004 her musical talent and service to her country in the field of music won her the St. Lucia Medal of Merit (Gold).

"Soul Cowboy"
Aruba's "Soul Cowboy" became a fact during the last months in 2002. This four-piece band, which members were playing together in a different line-up, backing up various artists, decided to work on "original material only" for a change. All four members contributed one or more compositions to the project that grew into a 2-hour music experience. One of the main ingredients you will hear in their music is the blending of their unique backgrounds, which have their origin in Europe, United States and Aruba (where they all reside at the moment) This many flavors will amaze a lot of listeners who can appreciate this concept of music. Together with a tasteful dose of electronics, their "hidden" fifth member, they'll pleasantly surprise a younger crowd as well.

While putting the finishing touch to their debut CD, featuring Martin Buitenweg on guitars, Hildward Croes on keys, Franky Yanga on bass and Dennis Smits on drums, "Soul Cowboy" is preparing for a Caribbean/European tour later this year. Their music can be described as "nu skool jazz", a fusion of traditional styles using modern & electronic sounds with plenty of room for improvisation.

TEN/90 is a potent combination of talented jazz musicians; guitarists Monty Maxwell and Dien Thomas on Keyboards as well as star vocalist Martin Dorville and multi-hit singer/songwriter Mervyn Wilkinson. The group's influences include Jazz, Gospel and Calypso which has lent them the versatility to play in a number of settings. The have performed at a number of the island's leading resorts, cruise ships and theatre productions. This dynamic ensemble will merge their talents with pan legend Alison Marquis.

TEN/90's repertoire includes Caribbean Calypso classics; new age, classical, contemporary and fusion jazz; modern Caribbean music and R&B. their unique approach leaves a lasting memory.

Arturo Tappin
Arturo Tappin is described as the smoothest, saxiest horn man the Caribbean has to offer. He has been busy kicking his solo career into high gear with his roots reggae-jazz fusion.

The release of his two albums in combination with his reputation for putting on explosive shows led him to perform at Jazz festivals worldwide.

Arturo has played and recorded with many major artists and groups, he has also performed with pianists and worked with R & B artists.

Arturo Tappin attributes much of his success to one of his former tutors, his uncle, parents, manager and warm loving supporters in the Caribbean. This support was the kindling, which ignited his burgeoning career.

KK and Sally Elwin
Husband and wife team comprising keyboards and vocals. In 1996 they formed the group "Fantasy" a four piece band performing mainly in the hotel circuit in St. Lucia.

The band would later go on to win "Best Music Group" at the 2001 Ste Lisi Par Excellence Award. In 1998 Sally represented St. Lucia at the CBU song festival held in Cuba, placing second.

Randolph "KK" Elwin, one of St. Lucia's top keyboard players is recording artist, sing writer, composer, and music producer. The self taught musician is best known for his hit song and music video entitled "Lover" and is credited with having produced and performed all the music and vocal tracks on the album.

KK has produced numerous songs for St. Lucian artists, and played a major role in the production of music for St. Lucian calypsonians for a number of years winning him the Bel Grave Award for producer of the year in 1992.

Sally and KK's most recent engagements have included cruise ship performances and the studio production of Sally's debut CD scheduled to be released in 2004.

Jazz in the South Artistes

Gramacks, The New Generation:
Formed in 1972 by lead singer Jeff Joseph, Gramacks is one of the most successful bands in the entire history of Caribbean music. In the seventies and eighties the band had hit after hit, inventing Kadans-lypso with the fusion of Calypso rhythms, Jamaican reggae and the musical traditions of the Creole-speaking Caribbean. Their distinctive keyboard sounds, funky guitar riffs and the gravely vocals of lead singer Jeff Joseph combined to form a powerful unit that seemed untouchable. Their music played a major role in moving Dominica into the international music spotlight as well as establishing Dominica as an emerging leader of Caribbean music. Between 1985 and 1987 their hit song 'Hot Music' soared to number one on the charts throughout the Caribbean and WLIB in New York.

The band split in the late eighties and Joseph went on to have considerable success as a solo artist and with his new band Volteface. The music lived on though and in 1999 Gramacks decided to give themself another chance and Gramacks New Generation was born. Gramacks New Generation is scheduled to perform for Jazz in the South at Balenbouche on Sunday May 9, 2004.

The Matrix Band with all its members coming from the picturesque town of Soufriere launch formally in 2002 with seven members. Its members include Gregor Charles, Sherman Laurencin (guitarists), Ubaldus George, a bass guitarist, Paul Victor on drums, Benjamin Alexander and two lead vocalists, Rafique Alexis and Melissa Faucher.

Matrix makes the rounds performing at some of the hottest entertainment spots on the island including various hotels, Soca Village Calypso Tent and Vieux-Fort Carnival. The band gave successful performances at Labour Day 2003 and plan to be a part of the 2004 celebrations. The band is soon expected to release its first album.

Djo Dézormo
Djo Dézormo has been on the musical scene in Martinique for over 30 years, and he has performed all the main musical genres of his country, including ballads, zouk love, traditional drumming, and carnival music. He has recorded more than 100 original songs, including "Au feu les pompiers", "La femme de ton voisin" and "Nèg pété chenn". He has performed in the Caribbean, in North America and in Europe. Djo Dézormo has received a number of prizes and awards, including the SACEM Prize of 2003 for his contribution to musical development in Martinique. No other local composer as done so much for his country over the past 30 years.

Djo Dézormo will close Jazz in the South at the Independence Square in Vieux Fort on the evening of Wednesday 12 May.

The St. Lucia School of Music is a small, government assisted institute. A wide variety of music and musicianship is taught at the School of Music to the youth and adults. Annexus represents the School's growing jazz programme.

The group consists of faculty and local jazz musicians. Over the years many musicians and faculty have passed through the School of Music Jazz Ensemble. This year faculty members from overseas and St. Lucia combined with local musicians to form "Annexus."

Annexus puts a modern flare into traditional jazz and has a progressive original style. With their unique instrumentation and diverse sound, Annexus strives to annex its product to the growing world of music and to inspire the youth.

Annexus members are: Bonnie Gallagher (violin), Stephen Holmes (flute), Jim Nowickas (alto saxophone), Grantley Charles (piano), Cleveland Frederick (bass), Ben Finley (guitar) and Ricardo Francois (drums).

Neil Franklyn & Friends
Neil 'Toots' Franklyn is a Saint Lucian musician who has a promising career as band leader and saxophonist. A native of the southern town of Vieux Fort, where he began to play music, he moved to the US and attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston where he graduated with a Diploma in Professional Music. Since then, he has performed with a number of bands in the Boston area, playing Jazz, Latin, Haitian, R&B and Blues. He has recently relocated in Florida, where he performs professionally in restaurants, clubs and corporate functions. He has released a debut album called Chasin' the Sun. At Saint Lucia Jazz 2004, Toots will perform with a band of Saint Lucians based at home and abroad. The band's only appearance will be at Jazz in the South in Vieux Fort on Wednesday 12 May.

The Sean Thomas "Bop-So" Quintet
This group was formed in January 2004. "Bop-So", conceptualized by Thomas is a combination of "Bee-Bop" and "Calypso". Thomas has selected four of Trinidad's finest musicians to work with and this will be the Quintet's first major performance at the St. Lucia Jazz Festival. They are Clive "Zanda" Alexander, Michael Boothman, Curtis Lewis and Russell Durity.

Clive "Zanda" Alexander
Calypso Jazz Pianist, Composer has been performing since the 60's. "Zanda", has appeared at all major Caribbean Jazz Festivals. Over the past four years he has performed with the Sean Thomas Trio throughout Trinidad.

Michael Boothman
Guitarist, Bassist has played at major festivals as Montreux Jazz, Barbados Jazz, Glastonbury Jazz Festival (England) and at the American Music Theatre Festival.

Michael has performed the opening acts for Grover Washington Kool and the Gang, and the Commodores. He has worked and continues to perform with the Sean Thomas Trio.

Curtis Lewis
Tenor Saxophonist has been playing for more than 20 years. He has performed with Michael Boothman and Friends, Clive "Zanda" Alexander and Andre Tanker. He is a member of and has toured internationally with the Roy Cape All Stars.

Russell Durity
Bassist has been playing for over 25 years. He has performed at The Reggae Sun Splash, The Barbados, Grenada and St. Lucia Festivals and at The Martinique Guitar Festival with Michael Boothman and has performed and continues to perform with the Sean Thomas Trio. He is the leader of his own group Raphel.

Sean Thomas (Drummer)
A graduate of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, Boston, U.S.A., Sean is a very learned and accomplished drummer, pianist and arranger. Thomas performed at the St. Lucia Fringe Jazz Festival (2002) with his group The Sean Thomas Trio and also at The Grenada Jazz Festival (2003). In 2003 and 2004, The Sean Thomas Quartet performed at Trinidad's "Jazz Artists on the Greens".

Bwakoré is a band from Martinique – French West Indies, and started in 2001. The members of the band are: Claude Césaire (Musicians, pianist and Lavwa), Alwin Lowenski (saxophones and Lavwa), José Marie-Rose (bass and lavwa), Max Téléphe (saxophones, flutes, vocal lead), José Zebina (drums and lavwa).

The musicians have written 7 out of 12 of the album tracks, a rich panel of musical colours, where one can find traditional rhythms from the New World, such as Biguine and Mazurkas, but also traditional music from Martinique, which is called "Bele".

Bwakoré music is universal because it gathers together all the musical influences born in the New World, like in Brazil, Haiti, or Cuba.

Teatime Jazz Artistes

Disturbing Joan
Disturbing Joan is a marriage of surfers with musical talent who started a bad with a couple of beat up guitars. The band got its seemingly contemporary, unconventional name from the next door neighbour "Joan" at their first band room.

Disturbing Joan's main stream debut came in 2001 at St. Lucia Jazz, opening for child actor turned Jazz performer Malcolm Jamal Warner. The group's first album, Bush Tea, was released in August 2002, and earned an M&C Fine Arts music award the following year. The band has opened for Barrington Levy and Third World, followed by an appearance at Jazz on the Beach. In October the group completed a hugely successful mini tour of Martinique.

2004 finds Disturbing Joan building on the successes of 2003 with the imminent release of a music video from the Bush Tea album and the recording of its second album under way.

Official Opening Artistes

This band began its life as LINKS in 1992 with a membership of five, managed Phillip Bowers. After having undergone a number of changes it emerged into a formidable music outfit and began to play in earnest. The band landed a gig on the Cunard Countess which lasted for three months after which the group moved to being the resident band at one of St. Lucia's leading resorts. After a couple of years the band changed managers and its name to XTENT.

XTENT is not a stranger to St. Lucia Jazz with their performance alongside Beres Hammond and Machel Montano at the opening concert in 2000. The band also played alongside Montell Jordon in 2001 and have performed at other concerts with such reggae stars as Lucky Dube.

Daddy Twan:
Shala Selassie Twan Emmanuel, born 16thJune 1964 in St. Lucia, which is situated in the Eastern Caribbean. He grew up listening to an array of Reggae Legends. He always felt a calling for music, particularly reggae.

Victim of a DUI driver he lost his left leg amputated at the knee. He then moved to New York to get fitted for a prosthetic limb, and also searched for career opportunities.

During the 12 years in the United States he secured a niche for himself, launching and establishing himself on the reggae sound scene.

Between the late 80's and early 90's, Daddy Twan could be heard on reputable sounds all across New York.

In 1997 Shala formed Trinity Productions and in the following year opened for acts such as Reggae recording artist, Pinchers. In 1999 Daddy Twan performed on many stage shows with various artists such as Sugar Minot, Michael Buckley and Quench Aid.

Year 2000 was no different with Daddy Twan performing in the Millennium Bashment. Besides this he was also slated to open for Beenie Man in December 2001.

August 2002 saw Daddy Twan commencing recordings, which culminated in the production of a thirteen track album.

Third World
Stephen "Cat" Coore and Michael "Ibo" Cooper, both of whom had formal training in music schools, formed Third World in 1973. From the beginning they were a self-contained band, a rarity in Jamaica.

In 1994, Third World went to London and was signed by Island Records; their debut album came out the following year when they opened for Bob Marley on his UK tour.

Their second album, "96 Degrees In The Shade," was released in 1977 and the title track became a reggae classic. Their third album, "Journey To Addis" (1978), featured the international breakthrough pop hit "Now That We Found Love," which fused reggae, R&B, and dance rhythms.

The group signed with Columbia in 1981. Third World continued their hit making ways into the nineties.

Fond D'Or Jazz:

Haiti Twoubadou:
Mizik- Mizik is a Haitian konpa music band based in Pétion-Ville, Haiti in the West Indies. Konpa is a style reminiscent of Latin music with subtle flavors of Jazz mixed with various African rhythms.

The band got together in the mid-eighties, and their name was patterned after California based Mister-Mister, one of the best new wave bands of the eighties.

Mizik- Mizik got its first shot by joining a group of young members in the first American Airlines sponsored musical contest. They ranked 7thout of 309 participants with their track "Viv Ayiti".

Shortly after the contest, most of the members left Haiti to go pursue their studies abroad.

In 1989, with the help of Frendy Piquion, they got back together briefly to record their first L.P.

In 1996 they released another album. This recording featured some of the greatest songs from Mizik- Mizik.

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